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Archive for White Label Branding

Beautiful Branding: How to Make a White Logo

One of the beautiful things about Version 3 of CoachAccountable is that you now get White Labeling for free.

What’s white labeling? It’s your way to make your CoachAccountable account look more like your own, for you and your clients: your color scheme, your logo, your name.

If you haven’t yet set up your account to be white labeled as your own, you’ll find the place to do so in Settings >> System >> Branding.

One of the places to customize is with your company’s logo. Most logos as designed are best suited to be mounted on a white background, which makes sense: it’s the sort of thing of having it on the top of branded stationary or in the signature of an email.

CoachAccountable V3 goes for a more minimalist and flat look: the top bar is a vibrant, solid color, with white icons and other features placed on it for a nice contrast and clean aesthetic:

Kinda sharp, right? Ooh, but to make it more your own! Let’s see how it’s done…

It’s likely that you’ve got a logo, but unlikely that it done in this style: a white shape that nicely mattes onto a solid background color.  Recently I noticed that CA customer Rebecca Licalsi (of Licalsi Coaching) had such a logo set to show in the header like that.  Here’s what it looks like:

Made to be matted on white!

Looks sharp, right?  It helps that we have it matted on white.  When we set this logo to be the White Logo (and pick a nice purple to go with it) within CA we get this:

The white rectangle dropped into this boldly colored area looks a little… abrupt.

As you can see this isn’t ideal: plopping a big white rectangle into the middle of this space kinda breaks with the surrounding aesthetic.  A better, more congruent logo would be one that follows the lead of the other elements in this space: a crisp, white shape that mattes nicely on our vibrant background color.

So let’s make one of those!  No need to hire your designer to make you a whole new logo, from the one you already have you can transform it into a white version with just a few steps.

Using Rebecca’s logo as an example, let’s show you how this is done in Photoshop (and if you don’t have that handy, we’ve got instructions to do it via the free, web-based alternative to Photoshop called Pixlr):

Making a White Logo in Photoshop

Our first step is to clear out the white background (which causes that abrupt white rectangle) and make it instead transparent (so that it will sit nicely on top of any matting color you choose).  To do this, first choose white as your main active chosen color, and then go to Select >> Color Range…

Select all the white in the image with the Color Range selection tool.

Because you’ve got white as your chosen color, the default Select option “Sampled colors” will select all the white in you image.  Fuzziness 85 seems to reliably get the right amount around the edges, but you can adjust that up or down to more or less aggressively pick the white and near white pixels:

The white parts in the selection preview image are what we’re selecting (and ultimately removing).

Once you’ve selected all the white pixels, clear them away by using the eraser, leaving you with a nice transparent background:

A big fat eraser makes this easier.

Now that the background is cleared out, let’s make our logo shape be as tightly cropped as possible (because there’s no need to keep those pixels on all the edges which were providing padding).  Do this by selecting all (Ctrl-A), copying (Ctrl-C), making a new image (Ctrl-N), and pasting what you selected into that new image (Ctrl-V).  This will have the effect of shedding off all rows and columns that were completely empty, giving you the tightest possible crop without losing anything of the image.

Now the real magic: to turn our colored shape into a flat, white only shape.  Do this by right clicking on the one layer of the image and selecting “Blending options…”:

Blending options are so cool.

Here we just pick “Color overlay” and be certain that white (#FFFFFF) is the color we are over laying:

Click okay and we’re done!

And there we have it:

Not much to look at now, but…

A crisp white shape, layered on a fully transparent background.  It’s hard to read against that white and grey checkerboard, but our vibrant background color choice will give much more favorable contrast.  Save it as a PNG file and it’ll be ready to set as your White Logo.

 

Making a White Logo in Pixlr

  1. Open your logo file in Pixlr.
  2. Select the background color range (in Rebecca’s case, it’s white). Select the Wand tool, then click on the background area. Make sure the “Anti-Alias” box is checked at the top, but “Contiguous” is NOT checked.
  3. Erase that selection. Just press Delete.
  4. Deselect that area with Ctrl+D or Command+D.
  5. Go to Adjustment >> Color lookup. Click the color box (it will default to black) and select white. Make sure it’s completely white (as in the bottom scroll bar is at 100%).

Pixlr Color Selector
Your logo is now white! However, it can be a bit hard to check your work, since it’s white on top of a transparent background. To see it (optional), add a new layer. Use the paint bucket to paint the new layer black. Drag that layer below your logo’s layer, and you’ll now see the white on top of black. You can use the eraser tool here to get rid of any white spots that may be hanging out.

And voila! Your white logo is ready.


And that’s all there is to it.  We started here:

and we end here:

The end result is a branded system that looks sharper and much more consistent with the more modern, flat design of CA.  Not bad for 2 minutes of work.

If this process looks at all intimidating, no worries!  Because here’s the deal: I’m all for you to feel completely at home within your CA account, and I want CA to make your coaching look as clean and professional as possible, to both you and your clients.

As such we’ll be happy to do it for you.  Just send your logo in whatever format you’ve got it (preferably high quality, high res, but we’ll roll with what ever!) to support@coachaccountable.com and we’ll cook up (and put into place) a white logo for you.

A big thanks to Rebecca for letting us share this process using her logo!

How to Integrate CoachAccountable with your Website

You may already have a website whose purpose is to present you and your services to the world, and if so you might wonder how best to “integrate” that website with CoachAccountable.

It turns out that CA is itself designed to be a complete experience for your clients, so integrating it with your regular website is often as simple as making it easy for your site visitors to log into the CoachAccountable accounts they have with you.

Here are a few ways to connect your website with CoachAccountable:

Login Link

A common way to integrate CoachAccountable with your coaching site or member portal is to make a link from your site to CoachAccountable’s login page (https://www.coachaccountable.com/login).

Wrap the login link as a button or even a prominent line of a text, such as “Head to my personal coaching account” or “Login to my account.”  Something like this:

They can click the button or text, log in as usual, and will be taken right to the system.

You can direct your clients to check the “Keep me logged in” checkbox when they log in.  If they do so, clicking that big button in the future (from the same device) will have them be taken right from your site and on into their account, making for a truly seamless transition.

With white-labeling, this concept is taken further as the login page itself can be customized using your branding.

White-labeling allows you to direct visitors to a custom login page using a unique login link, found by going to Settings >> System >> Branding, then scrolling down to Login Page. This custom login page always appears branded according to your settings.

Use this simple but effective method to unite CA with your website, and give your clients a straightforward means to access their accounts.

Remote Login

White-Label Branding gives you the ability to embed a login widget on your website.  This is similar to the login link above, except now your clients have the ability to enter their username and password right from your website — no need to be taken to an intermediary page to do so.  Here’s what the login widget looks like, embeddable anywhere:

Relatively basic, but can be customized with your CSS.

Head to Settings >> System >> Branding, and select Login Widget. Here you’ll find the HTML snippet you’ll place somewhere on your website. This section also allows you to define the logout URL, where clients get taken after they log-out, the text that appears on the widget, and any custom CSS you would like to style the widget with.

Remote Login

Due to the ability to match the style of the widget to that of your website, Remote Login is a truly consistent method of integrating your two systems.

Both a simple login link and the login widget represent two easy ways of integrating your site with CoachAccountable. Give these a try: there’s a good chance you’ll find one of these approaches is all that’s needed to integrate CoachAccountable with your website.

Why White Labeling Costs $50 Extra

This is the thing about CoachAccountable for which I definitely take the most heat, that the right to white-label and style it as your own adds fifty bucks to the monthly subscription price.

I can appreciate that $50/month for this can be hard to swallow, and yes, I am aware that the Coaches Console offers this for free.

So why would I do this?

No, it’s not a ploy to get more CoachAccountable brand exposure out to potential customers, I’m going to go out on a limb here to surmise that the overlap between people being coached and people who might become customers is vanishingly small.

Here are the real reasons.

First it represents a sort of price segmentation that ultimately leads to lower pricing for coaches who can do without.  CoachAccountable remains a completely self-funded start up.  This is lovely, for as such I can focus on deliberately and methodically crafting a great product without investors breathing down my neck looking anxiously for their return on investment. But it means I still need this to be profitable enough for me to make a living off of it.

So charging larger outfits a little more for a premium add-on helps me grow the platform in this still-early phase of CoachAccountable’s existence.

Consider the grid below.   Larger, more established coaching practices generally fall in the lower-right quadrant.  They pay a little more for the premium add-on and it’s win-win.  The push back I get about the surcharge generally comes from the upper-right quadrant.   I totally understand the sentiment.  In those cases I actually encourage coaches with smaller client rosters (i.e. the situation in which the $50 flat fee amounts to a high per-client price hike) to consider that white labeling isn’t all that important, and that clients generally don’t think any less of the coaching experience when it comes with the CoachAccountable branding.

Price Sensitivity to a $50 surcharge High No worries, don’t need it. Potentially mistaking superficial aesthetics as genuinely important to providing real coaching value.
Low Can take it or leave it, no biggie either way. Generally a nice win.
Low High
Perceived Importance of having White Labeling

Indeed, the results one gets being coached are going to be the same whether it’s the CoachAccountable logo at the top of the screen or some other.

The second reason is to hold myself tightly to the cause of making a substantially value-adding piece of software.  If matching or beating someone else’s price is my way of earning the business of a paying customer, it means I can get away with a shoddier product.  So for now, as with the other premium add-ons (and even the core system), I’d rather be on the hook to make while labeling great and truly worth the cost.  If it turns out it’s not worth the money, no worries.  Rather than bargaining down, let me go back to the drawing board and make it better (and gracefully accept going out of business if I fail).

Finally, the premium surcharge for white labeling enables me to give due credit of earnest usage to those willing to pay the $50/month.  I still regularly take suggestions and feedback direct from my customers, from the $20/month Starter plan on up.  While I continue to evolve this platform, the whole pricing structure of CoachAccountable assures me that I’m taking my input from people who are vested enough to invest a few bucks a month into their system, ones who expect so much more than some cheap CRM with the word “coaching” on it.

So that’s why white labeling costs $50 extra per month, and similar reasoning applies to Courses and recently released Groups.  It’s not a popular choice, but a very deliberately strategic one.  To those who mind, I apologize and hope you’ll bear with me.

For those who don’t, I thank you for your enabling role in CoachAccountable’s growth.

White-Label Branding

I used to call this “Custom Branding”, but I don’t think that really communicates to most folks.

“Custom branding?  No, I’ve already got my logo and color scheme sorted, thank you.”

White-labeling, by contrast is, a much more common phrase, and the standard understanding/expectation of what is meant by it is exactly what I wish to convey.

As of today CoachAccountable is available as full-fledged white-branded coaching software solution, meaning you set it up and your clients need never see the words “CoachAccountable” nor ever need directly visit the site.

Setup is a snap: pick your color scheme, choose a name, and upload a logo & favicon.

Pick a name, pick a color.  You're almost done.

Pick a color, pick a name. You’re almost done.

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